NWTC’s Phi Theta Kappa members help create a welcoming campus environment

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Phi Theta Kappa members at the 2023 induction ceremony.
Phi Theta Kappa members at the 2023 induction ceremony.

For College students, feeling like you are part of campus life and having a place to be yourself is important. That’s what prompted the members of NWTC’s chapter of Phi Theta Kappa (the international honor society of two-year colleges) to start a new project to understand what makes our students feel like they belong on campus.   

The campaign - “WeBelong at NWTC” - asks students to share words that make them feel like they belong at the College. Responses run the gamut from spending time with friends and participating in campus activities to how the instructors teach. The word cloud below shows some of the most common words and phrases students shared when asked what made them feel at home on campus.   

Most common words or phrases associated with NWTC.

“The feelings I got when I came to NWTC over a decade ago were progress, inclusion, and belonging,” said Joey Flaig, president of NWTC’s PTK chapter, Beta Nu Theta. “Those themes are now even stronger than before, and PTK wanted to help build on that momentum to understand what makes students feel safe and welcome.”  

PTK presented their idea to NWTC’s vice president of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Dr. Sara Lam, for approval. By doing so, they were able to align their goals with existing College efforts and ensure they had leadership approval, which is a requirement for PTK projects.   

“We wanted this year to be something of a continuation of the iRespect campaign at NWTC,” said Joey Flaig. “The goal was to create visibility around the things that bring our community together, regardless of any individual differences.”  

Completing a yearly project that betters their campus is a requirement for all PTK chapters with 5-star status. Previous projects have focused on other areas of the academic experience, like encouraging students to finish their education (called “Commit to Complete”). However, this year's aim was to focus on students that might not feel like they belong and show them how they are welcome.   

“I was nervous to start at NWTC... I had unrealistic expectations of what College would be like and was worried I would not fit in,” said Alma Lopez, PTK’s former vice president of scholarship. “There are so many great things happening on campus, once I let myself get involved, I felt like I found my home.”  

For their project, NWTC’s chapter, Beta Nu Theta, received top honors and an award at the international PTK assembly.   

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